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August 12, 2008

"Real Estate Olympics" Redo: Call for Best "Do-it-yourself" money-saving tools at each step in the home buying / selling process

A leading group of real estate technology innovators is using a sports metaphor, the "Real Estate Olympics", to launch a compelling, timely competitive for the "Real Estate Pacesetter of 2008."

However, the first nomination (Zillow.com) and next week's run off between eight companies to pick a single winner suggests that this competition will be a battle of the GIANTS. Compare that with Seth Godin's presentation on "Small is the New Big" to the same group of innovators at ConnectNYC07 and  Time Magazine's Person of the Year in 2006: "YOU".

If you translate those MEGA-trends into an Olympic metaphor, you get a different kind of competition and a different call for "Best of Breed." Just as the Olympics have 302 events, there are hundreds of steps in the home buying and selling process and real estate innovators empowering consumers with money-saving, do-it-yourself tools at EACH STEP in the process.

For more than a decade, The Real Estate Cafe's has maintained a list of "Best of Breed" innovators at each incremental step, and we are eager to share them with our clients and others.  Real Estate innovators, if you think you should be on the list, please send us an email:

1. Nominating yourself for the appropriate step in the home buying and selling process, and

2. Explaining how you help do-it-yourself home buyers or sellers save money (or time).

Any nominations we receive before this weekend from innovators, or consumers who rave about them, will be showcased at our first "FSBO Trade Mart," tentatively scheduled this weekend at TogetherInMotion.com, One Broadway, Arlington, MA.  Watch Twitter & FriendFeed for more details.

Bill Wendel | 01:00 PM in "We" companies, Change Agents, Do-it-yourself, Fee-for-service, FSBO: Best Practices, FSBO: For Sale By Owner, RECALL: Real Estate Consumer Alliance, Savings & Rebates, Tech Trends | Permalink


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This counter-contest to the one at Inman better get a million entries!

Obviously, the first and best tool in selling any home anywhere is a virtual tour and putting it on line.

And boy, you sure can do that anyway you like in this free-free-for-all-web-app-click and-get-it-now economy.

But are the best things free?

The consumer is the highest life form-ultimately, they will decide.

...what's on the menu tomorrow at the cafe?

I gotta go make some calls!
[email protected]

Posted by: Obeoman | Aug 12, 2008 6:44:53 PM

We've been using Utterz to having fun with call for best of Breed, and will try to post links to the audio and video online at:

"Real Estate Olympics" Redo: Got nominations?

Real Estate Olympics: Best Do-it-yourself sites?

Posted by: RealEstateCafe | Aug 18, 2008 1:57:54 PM

Not sure why you started another blog similar to Stefan's Real Estate Olympics blog at the same time.

Anyway, it was a good post and created a lot of excitment and over 200 comments - that's a great thread!!!

Stefan posted results over the weekend and can now be viewed at http://www.inman.com/community/groups/real-estate-trends

Now agents can concentrate on your post.

Posted by: John | Aug 25, 2008 6:21:37 PM


Thanks for your perspective above. I actually corresponded with Stefan twice about his contest, explaining that my comments were posted to The Real Estate Cafe's blog, rather than the Inman Community, because I did not want to disrupt his competition or sound self-promotional.

Agent perspectives are welcome in this call for the best of breed "do-it-yourself," money-saving tools at each step in the home buying / selling process, but I am more interested in hearing from consumers and vendors. You may have noticed that the first post in this thread was made by a representative of Obeo.com, the Gold medal winner of the "Real Estate Olympics."

So, why did I start a "Real Estate Olympics, Redo"? As stated in an email sent privately to another Real Estate Olympics medal finalist congratulating them on their nomination:

"...my intention is not to undermine Stefan's Pacesetter competition, but to extend the recognition to all of the innovators who have dedicated their best professional efforts to help this generation of web-enable real estate consumers realize a potential savings of $30 billion annually!"

Would you like to nominate a web site to our list of "do-it-yourself," money-saving tools at any step in the home buying or selling process?

Posted by: RealEstateCafe | Aug 25, 2008 7:52:28 PM

HometownRenter.com has the questions to ask yourself if it is better to rent or buy in your situation. Do you need the flexibility of renting? or can you afford to stay in your home for at least 5 years or longer?

* Can you afford a 20% down payment?
* Can you afford a monthly payment on a 30-year fixed mortgage?
* ask your CPA ... Does the tax benefit of home ownership offset a potential decline in home value?
* Have you reduced other real estate debt before you add more on this home purchase?
* Does a fixed monthly mortgage payment for the next 15 years outweigh the likely inflation of rents during that same time (called an inflation hedge)

These are broad questions that can have many variations for each individual situation. However, it is a good foundation from which to start your home buying process.

If you are in the market for a rental, visit www.HometownRenter.com to find your next rental home!

Posted by: Gerwin | Dec 30, 2008 11:50:54 PM

I decided to be a "do-it-yourself" person when I was selling my home last year. I came across a company that offered to list my home on the mls for a low flat rate. I was able to save thousands that I would have paid in commissions had I used a seller's agent. My home sold fast and I was very satisfied with their service. I would like to nominate www.fidelityflatfee.com to be added to your list of do-it-yourself money saving tools in the selling your home process.

Posted by: Kohles | Jan 31, 2009 4:33:01 PM

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